Chapter 50. Family (3170) Control Room: The eternal palace of the synchronous state of Teorge. Teorge.
Coda sat down in the main palace control room. He liked it in here. He enjoyed spending time with his kin. It grounded him and kept him from suffering from the detrimental emotional aspects of being in total control of his sector of the planet. 7 screens were arrayed before him. Two were a respectful black the others had silhouettes on them and a red bar beneath.
Coda smiled as his hands rattled over the keys. The others used voice control but he liked the touch of the keys; the physicality of the keyboard. It was late, the genetic patchwork quilt that called itself Velva was asleep but the journey there had been messy, involved and exhausting.
He wasn't used to dealing with the filth of raw humanity or their works and like a prince in a pigsty, he had found the experience difficult to deal with. That was Pinyin's job. The bloodiest of them, the Gau clone that oversaw the original killing. Coda was a thinker, organizer and builder. Pinyin was the destruction required before building could begin. Pinyin could cope much better with the grime of raw humans, Coda had difficulty holding down his last meal in front of them. Not that he'd ever show it.
The bars at the bottom of two of the monitors with silhouettes, changed from red to green. "Do you have any idea what the time is Coda?" The female voice was sharp and scathing. "The planet is round, I know the velocity and angle of rotation. So yes. Yes I do." Coda retorted. The other green screen flashed into life "Xena, we know why Coda is calling. I'm asking you both politely, not to play games. If we are awakened, there is a reason. Of this I have no doubt. Brother?"
Coda sat back. "The Shulth has been poisoned by Goda DNA. It's causing a reaction."
Xena sat up in her screen. "Really?"
Coda looked lightly annoyed. "In my opinion and I'm sending you my notes now. When captured after a slap dash interrogation, they inventively overlaid her DNA with a barely functional cancerous agent; designed to cripple her and mask her more unique physical attributes. The Goda DNA upset that balance. If you could call it that and started a cascade rejection. She's starting to produce hyper antibodies that are stripping away the masking DNA, very very efficiently."
The male voice spoke up. "If you are talking to us then you have the situation under control, I assume this is not the main point of your call?"
Coda nodded slightly in appreciation. "Implacable logic as always brother. I am concerned that if they would butcher her to this extent just to lay a trap for Zorr then....."
"Then, they wouldn't think twice about butchering a world to take him and keep the secret." Xena retorted.
The male silhouette stood up. "I'm coming Coda." The king clone slumped happily back in his chair. "Thank you, Pinyin."
Chapter 51. The Shard (2728) Conference room 1. Control deck: General Garrett. Witchspace.
The General slumped back in his chair "Moomorek, the bovine cow goddess and uncontested empress of the universe? Please tell me your facking with me." He leaned forward placing his head in his hands. Mirias was failing to stifle his amusement and Professor Harrington stood, lips pursed and arms crossed, she wasn't used to being interrupted when giving a serious lecture.
The first basic seeding of the eight 'galaxies' had been completed. Fortunately the web of witchspace between star systems had not changed, merely their contents. The universe now teemed with new life. Most of it apparently cow like in nature.
The wheel had quickly exhausted the accessible worlds it could fire at from the pocket of witchspace it had currently resided in. So the General Garret, stopped its spin, locked onto the structure and dragged it to a new location where it could resume it's work.
Then there was the problem of travel between galaxies. For that you needed technicians. Well over half the General Garretts compliment of crew were techs of some sort. They needed them, all of them; to keep this rolling reality murder show on the road. A lot of equipment needed to be replaced every time you jumped to another galaxy and they had a currently plentiful but realistically finite supply.
The Garett had been very well stocked. Even with the exterior cargo pods covering most of the hull, pretty much all the free areas inside were filled to the ceiling with supplies, spares, hydroponic bays, 3d printing replication booths and other mission critical paraphernalia. Enough to keep this operation running for a dozen years or more.
Turner knew, he saw the inventories. They had hardly dented their reserves. Hangers full of pristine galaxy drives, millions of tons of fuel, replication and refining facilities that would make your average isolationist cult with an unlimited budget green with envy, but that wasn't the point.
It was decreasing. As commander of a military campaign with no chance of resupply; Turner found this to be deeply troubling. The bizarreness and humor of the current state of the universe was not lost on him. That said his perspective rested on the far horizon where, ten to fifteen years from now, starved of equipment they might have to "make do" with a less than ideal universe. These were the days of wine and plenty, as a soldier he knew they could not last.
"General? If I might be allowed to continue?" Harrington was disappointed too, she had been expecting better results from the first sweep. Not this farce, this caricature universe that they had been presented with. Still the probe had proven to be informative. She had personally scraped a her thumb under one of it's housing plates drawing blood. As the probe left witchspace there was no explosion, no turmult as her realities cells met this new one. It was admittedly only a proof of concept, but a successful and satisfying one. Then the data started to come back and the recriminations began.
"We are still translating the guttural universal language". "You mean the Mooing?" Mirias chimed in grinning like a Cheshire cat. Lisa glared at him and tried to keep going. "But we have been able to ascertain some simple facts. There is a predominant bovine species in the universe. There would appear to be few other races left that have not been eugenically cleansed."
Turner sat up. "Galcop?"
"For the love of fac, the Federation?"
"Put up a hell of a struggle but seems to have been completely annihilated a long time ago."
Turners eyes were wide. "How the hell do we even begin to fix this fac?"
Lisa looked at Mirias, this had been a talking point for both of them for many months now, a lot of it after sex but not exclusively. Shulth slowly got to his feet. "Your right, it could be argued that we've been a bit enthusiastic... Regarding the seeding of certain worlds."
James pointed out of one of the windows. "Enthusiastic? You do realize what's at stake here don't you Shulth?"
Mirias tilted his head, all earlier humor gone. "The gravity of the situation is not lost on me but this was to be expected. Getting it right first try was always going to be an idealistic dream."
James sat back, palms up and shrugged his shoulders. "So what now?"
"It's all still in there you know." interjected Lisa. "Galcop, The Federation and the Empire. It all existed in this reality just like our own. It's just been removed before now, by specific events. Events we now, have to identify and undo. What's the best way of putting it? This is kind of like sculpting stone. The statue is in there, we've just got to chip away the bits we don't need."
Shulth brought up a display with all the systems that had been seeded with bovine DNA. "Ok, so the plan is fairly simple; we'll listen, get some more history, find out which planetary pasture these disobedient malforms came from and chisel them off before they get started."
His hands raced over the display highlighting worlds. "Also, I would suggest we chisel off say, 40 to 70 percent of the other bovine races in the eight on our way through, depending on what we find out history wise? Then reseed with a more docile variant. Making just one change each time we sweep through the 8 galaxies would be a ridiculous waste of resources."
James thought for a second. "Am I correct in thinking that neither of you actually know what the hell your doing?" "More or less" Lisa replied matter-of-factly. "but with each probe, we get more information about the events of the universes we are sculpting. We can compare their histories. Look for patterns, similarities, how they differ. The more information we have, the better we will get at predicting outcomes. We'll methodically cut our way through to some form of acceptable reality."
Shulth smiled "Pare back the stone to reveal the figure beneath"
"One more question" Turner replied. "How exactly, are we going to 'chisel away' queen cow and her bovine minions out there?" Shulth reached into his pocket, took out a small cylindrical vial and placed it gently on the table. "With this."
It contained what appeared to be a small innocuous red crystal. Small angular tendrils fanned out, split and receded in a never ending fractal pattern moving like slow lightning. It appeared to be looking for something. It was quite unnerving to watch.
James looked at it transfixed "What the hell is that?" "That my dear general is our chisel, but I like to call it The Shard."